International Issues

Zameer Qureshi, "Brexit: An examination of key developments and their potential influence on European chemical laws," Environmental Law & Management, Volume 29, Issue 4, 2017.

On 23 June 2016, more than 30 million people voted in a referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom (UK) should ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ in the European Union (EU). The referendum turnout was 71.8 per cent and the Leave campaign won by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, making ‘Brexit’ an important and imminent probability, with potentially substantial implications for a range of stakeholders, including the chemicals industry.

Between then and now, there have been significant developments in case law and statute, culminating in the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and the issuing of a White Paper setting out the UK’s strategy for repealing the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972) and ending the supremacy of EU law. The Brexit process and potential outcomes, including ‘knowns and unknowns’, are subject to change and are evolving at an exceptionally rapid pace, and will likely continue to do so. Terminology utilised for important documents and events has changed since the start of the Brexit story in June 2016. Many Brexit-related issues depend significantly or entirely on outcomes of political negotiations, and making any predictions has become a challenging endeavour. The global chemicals industry is well advised, as part of an effort to support regulatory and legal compliance, to monitor regularly news and consultations regarding Brexit

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Montreal Protocol is Amended and Strengthened," Environmental Quality Management, Spring 2017.

Climate change watchers know that October, 15, 2016, was a historic day for international climate action. On that day, nearly 200 countries reached an agreement to phase down use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting to discuss the Amendment took place from July 15-23, 2016. This seemingly impossible alignment of international interests reflects years of effort. This column summarizes this historic event and its implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EC Publishes Final Report of Nanocomput Project," Nanotechnology Now, July 27, 2017.

In July 2017, the European Commission's (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) published a report entitled Evaluation of the availability and applicability of computational approaches in the safety assessment of nanomaterials: Final report of the Nanocomput project.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Years in the Making," Manufacturing Today, July 26, 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made available on May 16, 2017, and requested comment on a draft guidance document, “Guidance on EPA’s Section 8(a) Information Gathering Rule on Nanomaterials in Commerce.” This column discusses the draft guidance.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Daniel B. González, Anabela Aldaz, and Christopher J. McNevin, "Mini-Roundtable: Environmental Disputes," Corporate Disputes, July-September, 2017.

A major change, brought about by the November elections, is the uptick in citizen suit litigation, and lawsuits brought by third parties against the government. Given the current administration’s position on climate change, environmental regulation generally, and the perception that regulations impede economic growth and job development, there has been a significant slowdown in regulatory and administrative activity and the initiation of enforcement actions. NGOs and third-party activists will continue to fill this void by private lawsuits as citizen litigants.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "OECD Publishes Report on Alternative Testing Strategies in Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials," Nanotechnology Now, February 1, 2017.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a report entitled Alternative Testing Strategies in Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials: Current State of Knowledge and Research Needs to Advance Their Use.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Australian Draft National Standard for the Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals Addresses Nanomaterials," Nanotechnology Now, December 1, 2016.

On November 24, 2016, the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy began a public consultation on the Draft National Standard for the Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals and a supporting Draft Explanatory Document. See http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/national-standard/draft-national-standard-environmental-risk-management-industrial-chemicals  According to the Department, the primary purpose of the papers is to outline the design and operation of the National Standard. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Montreal Protocol Addresses HFCs," Chemical Processing, November 28, 2016.

October 15, 2016, was a historic day for international climate action: nearly 200 countries reached an agreement to phase out use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) at the 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. This column summarizes this historic event and its implications.

The Montreal Protocol is the international treaty designed to protect the earth’s ozone layer by requiring the phasing out of production and use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), substances believed to contribute to ozone depletion, many of which also contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) production. By many accounts, the Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful international agreements ever implemented.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Two Workshops Will Be Held Before October 2016 OpenTox Euro Conference," Nanotechnology Now, August 11, 2016.

Two workshops, a European Union (EU)-U.S. Nano Environmental and Health Safety (NanoEHS) workshop and a nano modeling workshop, will be held in advance of the October 2016 OpenTox Euro Conference.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Canada Begins Consultation On Proposed Prioritization Approach For Nanoscale Forms Of DSL Substances," Nanotechnology Now, August 4, 2016.

On July 27, 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Health Canada (HC) began a consultation on a proposed prioritization approach for nanoscale forms of substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL).

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